Marine Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway has been in the Corps since the Korean War and would like to see some action and a victory before he retires. He requests to be transfered to the unit that he was once busted out of. Upon arriving the commanding officer knows of Highway's reputation, especially of his lack of respect for his superiors, warns him that he is going to keep an eye on him. Highway's assigned to train a recon unit which consists mostly of deadbeats. But Highway's determined to turn them into true marines and they are not exactly pleased with him, at first. And he is also trying to reconnect with his ex-wife.